Sports cars might present attractive high-performance features and sleek design, but what drivers may fail to take into account prior making a purchase is that sports cars have unique insurance requirements.
While the exhilarating ride backed by added horsepower may appeal to drivers, car insurance companies represent the other side of this equation, recognizing the risks associated with insuring sports vehicles. For this reason, insurance for sports cars can be higher than standard economy vehicles because your carrier will require you to have specific protections. However, drivers can take action to reduce the cost of their sports car insurance.
What do insurance companies consider to be sports cars?
Every insurance company is different and vehicle classification standards may vary among insurers. While higher-end models made by world-renowned companies like Porsche or Jaguar are easier to designate as sports vehicles, companies such as Subaru or Honda produce models that can sometimes be a gray area. As a general guide, insurance companies usually classify vehicles with the following traits as sports car:
- Smaller and lighter than a standard sedan
- Two seats
- Soft back
- High horsepower
- Greater than 350-cubic inch motor
- Turbo-charged engine
Ultimately, your car insurance company may make this determination by entering the VIN into the insurers system, which will take into account the vehicle make, model, horsepower, number of cylinders, size and weight.
The threshold your insurance company uses to separate standard vehicles from sports cars as what they consider to be a sports car may not match your definition. For example, you may not think your Toyota is a sports car, but if its horsepower is higher than what your insurance company considers “standard,” you may end up having to pay for rates that would be consistent with what is considered sports car insurance.
What coverage do you need for a performance car?
The general rule of thumb with auto insurance is that you consider your assets and what level of financial risk you are willing to assume. Because sports cars tend to have higher-end features, specialty parts and other costly components, you may need more robust coverage to financially protect the vehicle, in the event you are responsible for repairs or damages. The following coverages can be considered when purchasing your sports car insurance policy:
- Collision and comprehensive insurance: these are two of the most important coverages you might need to insure your sports vehicle. These protect you financially from the cost of physical damage to your sports car in the event of a covered loss. It also covers damage caused by things outside of a collision, such as natural disaster, fallen objects or theft.
- Personal injury protection or medical payments insurance: With personal injury protection or medical payments insurance, your insurer will cover the cost of medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is found to be at-fault.
- Gap or new car replacement insurance: Gap coverage may be of interest to drivers financing their brand new sports car, as it will cover you if you owe more on the car than your insurance company would pay to replace it. With new car replacement coverage, you are able to recover the cost of buying a replacement vehicle of the same make and model.
Outside of the minimum requirements for insurance specified in your state guidelines, there are no specific requirements for sports car coverage that drivers must meet. Instead, it is up to sports car owners to ensure they have the breadth of coverage necessary for protecting their assets. Always consult with your insurance agent to understand what coverages and add-ons are available to help further protect your luxury vehicle.
How much is insurance for a sports car?
In general, sports car owners will likely pay a higher premium for insurance. Insuring a Corvette costs $2,220 a year for full coverage, based on quoted annual premiums. In comparison, the national average cost of car insurance for a basic sedan is $1,674 for full coverage. The steeper cost for sports cars is likely attributed to the fact they are typically associated with speeding or other unsafe driving behaviors, which presents a higher risk to carriers as a result. In addition, insurers also recognize that sports cars have a higher risk for:
- Collision damage
- General safety
- Parts replacement
- Vehicle theft
In addition to a higher risk profile, sports cars have a higher intrinsic value compared to standard sedans. The higher Insured Declared Value (IDV) on sports cars can make the premium more expensive. How much higher your premium will be than the national average for a standard sedan will depend on your geographic location, marital status, specific vehicle make and model, credit history (in most states) and driving history.
How can you save money on sports car insurance rates?
Sports car insurance is typically more expensive than a standard economy sedan, however, there are some ways in which drivers can reduce their premiums. By taking advantage of available discounts through your insurance carrier, you can secure lower rates without sacrificing your coverage. The following are key discounts to watch for when purchasing your sports car insurance policy:
- Good driving: Safe driving programs are common with many insurance carriers, providing discounts for those who have avoided traffic violations and accidents for a given period of driving history. Other providers allow drivers to install a telematics monitoring device to provide specific savings based on their current driving behaviors.
- Multi-policy discounts: If you obtain a home insurance policy alongside your auto insurance policy from the same company, most insurers offer a bundling discount, applying savings on both policies.
- Safety features: Some insurers offer discounts if your vehicle is equipped with special safety features. Review the list of eligible safety features to see if your car qualifies for a discount. While these might not be as common with sports cars, ask your insurer to see if you qualify for a unique safety discount based on your vehicle’s features.
In addition to the discounts, drivers could also save on premiums by taking on a higher deductible. While this lowers your premium, it does mean you are assuming more financial responsibility in the event of a claim.
How is exotic car insurance different?
While they may look similar to the untrained eye, sports cars differ from exotic cars in that exotic vehicles are rarer and have a higher vehicle value. As a result, many insurance carriers won’t insure them. For example, Progressive will not insure your vehicle if it is valued over $150,000. Drivers of a Lamborghini Aventador, Porsche Taycan Turbo S, or any other vehicle valued higher than $200,000 will likely need to seek out a specialty auto insurance company or those that cover collector vehicles. There are a few providers that offer this type of insurance coverage, including:
- American Collectors
- Grundy Worldwide
- J.C. Taylor
With a specialty auto or collector car insurance policy, you will receive more robust coverage to financially protect your exotic vehicle. Some specialty insurers may even offer similar discount programs to policyholders as standard insurers to help bring down the cost of insuring your exotic car.
Frequently asked questions
What cars are the most expensive to insure?
In general, the higher the value of your vehicle, the more financial protection you need, and the higher your premium will be for that coverage. Sports and luxury or collector vehicles are among the most costly to insure, based on average premiums.
How do I tell if my vehicle is a sports car?
Although some features may be common to both sports cars and regular sedans or SUVs, the former is usually noted by a few distinct traits. Turbocharged engines, a 350cc or higher motor, greater than average horsepower, two seats and a low built design are typically unique to vehicles that are considered sports cars.
Is insurance for sports cars different from regular insurance?
The biggest difference between insuring a regular car and a sports car is the value of the vehicle, which impacts premiums and eligibility. Because the financial risk is high with a sports car, not all providers offer coverage for some sports car makes and models. If you want to insure a sports car worth more than $150,000, only a few providers may offer this specialty coverage option.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, or a 2019 Chevrolet Corvette, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.